0 Degrees

Greenwich, London, 1993

In 1993, Anne Bean and Peter Fink approached Greenwich Observatory about the installation of a laser to designate the meridian line and which would originate, from the Observatory.

Having negotiated numerous concerns and legalities, this laser was switched on with a fanfare of numerous vessels, over 100 musicians, projections, the Thames fire brigade boat and a lightning machine used in feature films to simulate storms, as well as a remote control model helicopter spewing smoke into the laser.  The projection surfaces included Greenwich power station façade, the fine spray from the Thames fireboat and the sails of yachts from the Greenwich sailing club.

The event began with a lone Scottish piper on a boat crossing the line from West to East and the Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band, a Hindu bagpipe band of around 30 members dressed in full Scottish regalia crossing from East to West followed by a barge of 60 trombonists conducted by Alan Tomlinson and a boat full of drummers conducted by Paul Burwell. A barge with 20’ high poles covered in paraffin-impregnated cloth was set alight as it floated across the line. Mark Anderson, Ansuman Biswas, Sean Dower Kirsten Reynolds and Nick Sales all collaborated on the project.

The laser is now a permanent work seen every evening from the Greenwich Observatory.

Read More


0 Degrees (1993)